Author Topic: Standards - Company or Division?  (Read 3646 times)

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Standards - Company or Division?
« on: March 18, 2008, 09:55:25 AM »

We have a fairly large office (in South African terms). About 130 people.  Within the company are several divisions. i.e. Electrical, Urban & Rural, Roads & Bridges, Structures etc.  I am with the Urban & Rural division.

The real problems are that every division has its own set of standards and way of creating drawings.  With standards I mean different blocks, fonts/text styles, dimensions styles, text sizes etc. Layer standards don't exist. The only thing that is common between the divisions is the company title block. Not the north arrow is the same.

For example:
I we do a project that involve the Urban & Rural and Electrical divisions, the client gets a set of drawings that don't look at least a little bit the same except for the title block. ie. All the text and dimensions look different on the drawings. The electrical drawings look like it has been done by a novice CAD user or a different company.

To tell you the truth: It sucks.  Nobody wants to make any change to their standards and change the way the drawings actually look.

If could have it my way, I would create one standard for the whole company.  All the text styles, dimension styles, block etc. should at least look the same.  Drawings from different division should at least look if it was created at one company with some sort of standard in mind.

How does it work at your company?  Do you have one CAD manager that checks every drawing in the company? Whether it's an Electrical or Structure's drawing?

Do you have one CAD standard or divisional CAD standards?

What happens to the guy that doesn't want to conform to the CAD standards? How can we force him to comply?
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Re: Standards - Company or Division?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2008, 10:06:59 AM »
we have divisions all over the globe.
I was over in South Africa in January to bring the South African division into our "fold". Up till now they were a rogue beast doing everything their own way, and it was like you said, their documentation was different from ours, their drawings were different and even their processes were different.
I set up AutoCAD for them, provided some training and set them up with Adept document mangement. Now they are coming on line with the rest of us. The one benefit of them having Adept is that they now have instant access to our design database, so they have around 30000 designs to start with (most of our designs are evolutionary).
I have to  say I was quite pleased... with a little bit of training, they could see the benefits and were happy to join the ship.
One thing I did do was give a little bit of differentiation to the title blocks ~ for several reasons.
One, designs are manufactured slightly differently over continents so it helps tell at a glance where the design originated from, so Production know what to do.
Two, it gives a little bit of pride to  each division. ~  I just added a national flag to each of the different design centres titleblocks.


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Re: Standards - Company or Division?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2008, 10:07:44 AM »
We have multiple units in our engineering group.
Substation, Protection & Control, and Line engineering.
Each of these units must graphically represent the information that is different (civil to electrical schematics).
We have a high level set of standards that apply across all depts regardless, these are common things that can remain common. Then each unit has a smaller sub-set that defines their layering, pathing, blocks, etc.. and any other things specific to that unit only.
The standards unit oversees this since they can look to the future across all the units.

Adherence is self governed (and we use a doc. mgmnt sys). Meaning our users know the benefits of the standards and our drawings are very consistent, so when they find one in which someone has not followed standards in, they are the first to jump up and down and scream. For the most part this only happens when we get an occasional new person/renegade. Either way it is a management issue and is dealt with quickly.

Much of our standards are automated. It is harder to break the standard than to apply it.

Bob Garner

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Re: Standards - Company or Division?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2008, 10:15:37 AM »

I really like your idea of putting the national flag on each division to identify them and give them a piece of pride.  We have offices all over the U.S. and I think we would do well to implement that.  I know our San Diego office does the best work of all and I'm not ashamed to shout that out.

Bob G.


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Re: Standards - Company or Division?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2008, 10:22:48 AM »
thanks Bob, it grew out of ... I wanted all the titleblocks to look the same  ~ we are all using the same wblocks but I needed some way of differentiating the drawings, sometimes, although I may do a design here, it may get produced in the USA or South Africa, and vice versa, so I just took a small section of the titleblock and added a national flag. Thankfully it was welcomed by everyone and fitted the purpose.